The very fine line which exists between what’s defined to be business and what entrepreneurship is can cause quite a bit of confusion, but to the true entrepreneur especially it’s as clear as daylight. This is not to say that entrepreneurship trumps business because at some point these two worlds do indeed intersect one another and people are different in that some are wired to be businesspersons while others are better suited to be entrepreneurs.
How do we distinguish between business and entrepreneurship though and is there really a need to make this distinction?
I’ll make use of the horse racing industry as an example to highlight this difference and then you can decide for yourself if it is indeed necessary to make the distinction between business and entrepreneurship…
So the 2017 Cheltenham Festival is coming up, undeniably making for the most anticipated of the UK’s horse racing events. To make use of this even as an example to distinguish between what a business person is and does and what an entrepreneur is and does, think of the horse racing festival organisers as businesspersons. They’re running a business — a very lucrative business which draws in the crowds because of all the value it offers, such as all round entertainment and fine selection of chances to win major, major bucks. Cheltenham Festival odds perhaps make for the biggest pulling factor of the event, making for a perfect example of a very successful business model at play, but the business associated with the event goes beyond the event itself to incorporate businesses such as Bet36, SkyBet and all the other betting houses which take full advantage of the main proceedings.
These are all businesses associated with the event, but what goes on around these businesses is where the distinction between business and entrepreneurship can be seen.
The guy who sees an opportunity to profit out of an event such as this for which they’re not part of its organisation is an entrepreneur as opposed to being a businessman. He might decide to set up a stall at the event if given the requisite clearance, selling food and/or refreshments to take advantage of all the money that’ll naturally accompany all the people physically attending the race. If this food and refreshments vendor ordinarily doesn’t sell food and refreshments but saw the opportunity to do so to take advantage of the racing event, this person is a pure entrepreneur. If however they already sell food and refreshments, perhaps at a store which is physically located somewhere, their setting up of a stall at an event such as this makes them both a business person and an entrepreneur, or a business entrepreneur as Richard Branson likes to refer to himself.
So to sum it up, a businessperson goes into business and usually focuses on one or a few core business practices to generate sales, while an entrepreneur focuses more on looking out for new opportunities to profit out of, often doing whatever it takes to generate a profit in somewhat of a dynamic manner.